Christian Brynne has found her career voice, expressed through her hands and eyes as a makeup designer.
The Conway native joined the staff at NBC Universal in Burbank, Calif., in October, and her duties have included dressing up the faces of contestants on “The Voice.”
The singing competition series – with team coaches Adam Levine, Shakira, Blake Shelton and Usher, and host Carson Daly – will close its fifth season with shows 8-10 p.m. Monday and 9-11 p.m. Tuesday on NBC – seen locally on WMBF-TV 10/32, and WCBC-TV 2 and WECT-TV 6.
Speaking by phone on a day off earlier this month, Brynne reflected on her road to Los Angeles since graduating from Carolina Forest High School in 2007 and a makeup training school in New York, then landing her first job at Christian Dior at age 20 and modeling for Abercrombie & Fitch. She said moving west capped off a dream, especially with “The Voice” work behind the scenes.
Question | What motivated you to move from coast to coast after your modeling tenure?
Answer | My heart was always set on California, so I lived in Myrtle Beach for another year, then after that year, I woke up one morning, and I decided to drive cross-country in my little Honda Accord, and I got there in five days ... with no job and nowhere to live. Then in February 2012, I got my first job there, as a beverage-cart girl on a golf course ... which I still do from time to time, part time.
Q. | How did the greens groom your path to the peacock network?
A. | In July, I met the senior vice president of publicity for NBC on the golf course. ... The funny part of the story is ... out here, some people out here are legitimate, and others are not. ... He played on the golf course a couple of more times before I took him on for working at NBC, because I didn’t believe him. One day, he said, “Are you going to send me a resume or not?” Finally, I did. He really was the real senior vice president of NBC Entertainment publicity.
Q. | How did your first day on the set of “The Voice” play out with the makeup design crew?
A. | I was actually really nervous about it. Everyone who had been working on the show had been doing it for a while. ... But doing makeup for a couple of people, and seeing their reaction, to be sure, I realized how I love it, and I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity than what I’m doing.
Q. | On every show for broadcast, how many people make up the team on which you work?
A. | When “The Voice” first started this season, we had 48 contestants, and four makeup artists and four hairdressers. So divide 48 people by four, and that’s how many we each did makeup for, unless they come back to a particular person because they like that makeup artists.
Q. | Outside of “The Voice,” what other roles at NBC keep you busy with your artistry?
A. | I do a lot of press work for a lot of other jobs, especially in January and July with executives. For any show that’s held by NBC, they have to do interviews ... in the beginning and middle of the year, for instance, for the show “The Biggest Loser” ... or “The Celebrity Apprentice.” ...
Q. | How intuitive does your touch with makeup get in your art?
A. | It’s more or less like being creative. I could look at someone’s face before they know it and know what they need. It’s almost like interior design: You think this would look good with that wall, and this would look good with that ... . Some people would say it’s a gift. I picked it up at the age of 15, and knew ... that’s what I wanted to do.
Q. | How did this calling strike you?
A. I didn’t know I was interested in it. I was probably the biggest tomboy growing up, ever. My mom was always trying put dresses on me, and I would say, “Mom, I don’t like that stuff.” But at age 15, I went to a friend’s home with my mom. They were having a makeup party ... and I just picked up a makeup kit, and I just started playing with it. ... And I did the girl’s makeup, and she just happened to have a date that night. ... So, she’s married to the guy she went out with after I did the makeup for her. I don’t think she remembers that, but I do.
Q. | How much or little time is necessary to make a person look just right?
A. | Everybody’s different. ... When I went to makeup school, we were taught, if a customer asked how much longer do you have to finish, you say “10 minutes.” ... You like to have someone’s makeup done in 30 minutes or less. ... The key thing is, as a really good makeup artist ... you want to make sure they look good in the mirror and they appreciate what you do – whether they’re going on stage to do a song, or walking out the door for an interview, so they’re confident in what they want to do.
Q. | With your art and profession, would you walk into an museum and look at artworks differently than most everyone else?
A. | I do love interior design, I could go to a yard sale, and think, I could paint that, or I can do that, and make it look new. I think it falls into being creative. You have to look at something and see something in it.
Q. | What’s your pleasure like in watching performers on “The Voice” when the programs air?
A. | When I watch them on TV, I get really happy and excited, because these are people whose makeup I’ve done. As an artist, I helped make that person on stage feel good about themselves, and it makes me feel good, too.
Q. | How towering is Blake Shelton to see, and stand next to him?
A. | He is massive. When I first saw him, I was overwhelmed. I’m not tall, but I’m 5-foot-7, and most guys range from 5-10 and up. Seeing Blake Shelton on TV, you don’t think he is that tall, until you see him in person. He makes you feel little, and I’m not that little.
Q. | What’s next after “The Voice” closes another season?
A. | After the show ends, as for what’s next, there’s no telling when I get called for a job. It could be next week. ... When I see the name come across my phone, I know what that means, it means you better be ready.